A/N: Written for the glee_angst_meme. Original prompt found here:
http:/ glee-angst-meme. ?thread=10378006#t10378006 (just take out the spaces)
A/N2: Betaed by the awesome Emberwillow14!
But I Don't Really Care At All
Mr. Shuester's challenge for the week had been to pair up and write original duets. Mercedes and Santana, surprisingly, did an okay job. It was better than "Trouty Mouth" anyway. Unsurprisingly, Rachel had begged Finn to be her partner, and they had ended up writing some soppy song with no real meaning. Another surprise pair was Puck and Quinn, who used the opportunity to write a sweet goodbye song to their daughter, but it was clearly too personal to use for competition. Brittany and Artie's song made absolutely no sense and seemed to just be a bunch of random words that rhymed. Mike and Sam's was in what Mr. Shuester suspected was the Na'vi language. Tina and Lauren had another okay song, but it wasn't great. Overall, he was disappointed at the results of the task.
That was, until Kurt and Blaine's original duet.
No one had been surprised when the two boys had immediately paired up; they had been almost inseparable since both had transferred to McKinley last week. What was surprising was the moment that they stood at the front of the room to belt out the song they had written together, it felt like a spell had been cast over the room. It was a love song; but it wasn't sappy or mushy. The lyrics were clear and poignant with an almost bittersweet feel about them. The music was simple; they had both sat behind the piano to play contrasting parts. It was amazing.
After the last note died away the members of New Directions stared in a surprised shock at the couple standing in front of them, before bursting into applause. Kurt flushed with pride as he stood to take a small bow. Blaine had a huge grin on his face.
"That was awesome, guys!" Mr. Shuester said as he clapped them both on the the shoulder. "What do you think everyone? Great enough for the competition?"
"Absolutely!" Rachel jumped to her feet and stood in front of the couple. "That song was perfect! So sweet and charming! I don't think any judge could resist being blown away by it, especially with Blaine and me singing it!"
The entire room fell silent. Everyone was just staring at Rachel in complete shock.
"Excuse me?" Kurt finally found his voice and it sounded incredulous. "You and Blaine? Why would you and Blaine be singing our song at a competition?"
Rachel turned to Kurt with a frown. "I'm the star. Besides, it's obviously a love song; it would be more accessible to the judges if it were sung as a traditional boy and girl duet."
"But I wrote it with Blaine! I think if we perform it at any competition, I should be the one singing it with him!" Kurt struggled to keep his voice down. He couldn't believe that Rachel wanted to take this victory away from him!
"This isn't an all boy's school Kurt!" Rachel snapped back, clearly getting frustrated. "There is no reason that we can't use a heterosexual couple for this duet!"
"How about the reason two boys wrote it and want to sing it together?"
"Guys, Calm down!" Mr. Shuester stepped between the two. A quick glance at Kurt showed the boy looked close to tears, so he turned to face Rachel completely. "Rachel, it isn't very team-like to just automatically assume that you will get to-"
"But Mr. Shuester," the tiny girl interrupted earnestly, "I'm doing this for the team! It is an amazing song; I'm not denying that. But I believe that there will be a higher chance of us winning if I sing with Blaine! We all know that Blaine and I sound amazing together! Even better than Blaine and Kurt, honestly."
Kurt sucked in a breath; he could feel the tears welling up in his eyes at that comment. He opened his mouth to rip into Rachel, the hurt evident on his face, when another voice suddenly spoke up.
"But Kurt and Blaine are prettier together."
Everyone turned to stare at Brittany, who was looking slightly devastated.
"That's not the point!" Rachel cried, her frown deepening at the implication. "The point is-"
"The point is you're a selfish bitch," Puck interrupted. "The way I see it, you hear an awesome song and you want in on it. I mean, you didn't help us with writing Loser Like Me, and yet you still got to sing a pretty big chunk of it."
"Well, I did write a whole song on my own-"
"Which, by the way, you got to sing all by yourself." This time it was Mercedes who interrupted. "And for the record, Kurt and Blaine sound awesome together."
Rachel stamped her foot in frustration. "The point I'm trying to make is that, in order for us as a team to win the competition, this song needs to be sung as a traditional boy/girl duet! And since I am the most talented girl here, Blaine and I should sing it together."
"I agree with the midget." Everyone turned to stare at Santana in shock. The Latina girl shrugged. "Every competition we have won outright, she was singing most of the solos. So it only fits that she and the hobbit sing it together. We want to win, right?"
"Well yeah, of course we want to win," Tina replied quietly. "But that isn't exactly fair to Kurt. Why should he be expected to give up his part in the song he wrote?"
"Get a clue," Santana snapped back. "Since when is this club ever really fair? I think they're lucky she isn't saying that Blaine should give his part up to Finn!"
"That's because Blaine and I sound amazing together-"
"Why does Kurt have to give up his part then?" Sam looked a little embarrassed to be interrupting. "Why not Blaine? I mean, if you want to sing a part, you and Kurt sound pretty good together as well."
"But the song was made for two different ranges of voice, and wouldn't sound as good with two high ranges!"
"But remember Give up the Funk?" Finn spoke up. "Kurt can sing pretty low too."
"Guys! Guys!" Mr. Shuester called over everyone's voices. "Settle down!"
"Why don't you just give the part to Rachel already so we can get on with our lives?" Santana shot at the shocked teacher. "We all know you will anyway. Must keep the little princess happy."
Blaine grasped on of Kurt's hands and squeezed it tightly. Kurt shot a grateful smile to his boyfriend as the rest of their team argued over who exactly would sing his part of the song. It was painful to hear that some of his teammates, people who have complained about Rachel getting all of the solos, actually thought she should sing his song.
Finally the bell rang to signal the end of class. As everyone started filing out of the room, Mr. Shuester called out.
"Kurt, Blaine? Could I talk to you guys for a sec?"
The two boys stayed behind until everyone else was gone.
Rachel was the last person to exit, saying, "I trust you to make the best decision, the right decision, for the team, Mr. Shue."
Mr. Shuester leaned back against the piano, facing the two boys. Seeing Kurt's furious and upset face broke his heart a little. He realized that it would be horribly unfair of him to expect the boy to just give up his solo in the song he wrote, but personally he thought Rachel was right. At least, the part about it being more accessible to the judges.
"Please, Mr. Shue." The slight hitch in Kurt's voice was like another stab to his heart.
"Just listen for a minute, okay guys?" When both of the teens nodded, Mr. Shuester continued. "While I think that Rachel makes a good point about it being more accessible for the judges if your song was done by a boy and a girl-" Kurt made a soft noise, but he continued on over it. "-I'm not just going to make you give it up. You two wrote this song, and it was great. Amazing. I honestly believe that it will give us an edge at the competition. It might be a little risky to have you guys perform it together, but this is the best we've got. I would rather us not perform it at all than force you, Kurt, to give up your part to Rachel. I just wanted to know your thoughts."
Blaine turned towards Kurt and took both his hands in his own. "I hate to say it, Babe, but I think Rachel has a point."
"What?" Kurt jerked away and took a few steps back, the hurt and confusion written plainly on his face. "How can you agree with her?"
Blaine took another step towards his boyfriend with his arms outstretched. But when Kurt backed up more, he dropped his arms to his sides and stopped moving. He sighed deeply and rubbed the back of neck awkwardly, trying to avoid looking directly into Kurt's hurt eyes.
"After the winners were announced at Regional's, I went to talk with the judges. I wanted to see what we did wrong and what we could improve for next time, you know?" He glanced at Kurt, who still looked incredibly hurt, but also curious now. "The red-headed judge, Tammy Jean Albertson, told me the reason we lost was because-" he swallowed nervously and tore his eyes away from the other boy. "She said we lost because they can't support the message that 'it's okay to be gay'. We lost because of our duet."
Kurt fell into a seat and covered his mouth in shock. "She actually said that to you?"
Blaine nodded and fell to his knees in front of his boyfriend. "I'm so sorry. Believe me, Baby. I would love to sing our song with you in front of the whole world if possible! But if we want to win the competition, I think it would be best if . . . if I sang with Rachel."
Kurt could only stare in a wounded silence at Blaine.
Mr. Shuester came up behind him and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. "It's your call, Kurt; your part. If you would rather sing it, then it's yours."
Kurt could only sit there in silence. He honestly couldn't believe that Blaine, his perfect and amazing boyfriend, thought that it would be a good idea to sing their song with Rachel. It didn't matter that they had spent hours writing it together, making sure it perfectly suited them; it didn't matter that they had poured all of their feelings into the lyrics. All that mattered was winning. And apparently, there was no way the team could win if they sang it together.
Kurt hated that Mr. Shuester seemed to lay the entire decision on him. If he chose to keep the part, then it would be letting the team down and setting them up for failure. If he chose to give it to Rachel, it would just be another item on the list of things she managed to take from him. He dropped his head into his hands.
"Why does it have to be Rachel?"
Kurt hadn't realized that he had spoken out loud until Blaine answered him. "Everyone already knows that Rachel and I sound good together, and we have amazing stage presence."
Kurt sobbed silently. Of course. Blaine and Rachel sound good together. They have amazing stage presence. There's no need for any of the other girls to even try out, because everyone already knows that Rachel and Blaine sound good together.
"Fine," he muttered suddenly, raising his head out of his hands.
"Fine?" Mr. Shuester was genuinely surprised at the answer.
"I'll give up my part for the sake of a better chance to win."
Mr. Shuester burst into a wide grin. "That's very team-player of you Kurt! I'll go tell Rachel-"
"On one condition." Kurt smirked slightly at his teacher's and boyfriend's confused faces.
"Kurt," Mr. Shuester sighed, running a hand through his curls tiredly. "What kind of condition?"
"You have to let any girl who wants to try out for the part audition." Kurt smiled sadly at Blaine. "Who knows, maybe one of the other girls will sound better with Blaine than Rachel. After all, Blaine only ever sang with Rachel. You have to give them all a fair chance and consideration."
"Of course," Mr. Shuester nodded thoughtfully. "That's a wonderful idea! Next class we'll do that!"
As the two boys made their way out of the classroom, Blaine grabbed Kurt's hand.
"That was a very noble thing you did, Baby."
If it was so noble, Kurt thought sullenly, then why did he feel like crap?
Kurt stood off to the side of the stage in the auditorium, watching the auditions for his part. It was Rachel's turn at the moment; she had been furious when she heard that all of the girls were going to be given the chance to sing it if they wanted. Of course she had automatically assumed she was going to get it. Personally though, Kurt thought that Tina's audition had been the best.
"It sucks that you gave this away."
Kurt glanced over his shoulder at Sam before turning his attention back to the stage. "I know."
"It isn't fair that you had to."
"I know." Kurt sighed softly.
"Then why'd you do it?"
Kurt turned slightly so he could look at the (fake) blond boy and still see the stage. "Because if I didn't, it would have ended up a big deal that I was being selfish and not looking out for the team's best interest."
"I wouldn't have given it up."
Kurt laughed softly. "I wouldn't have, but Blaine agreed with Rachel's point about the judges. So did Mr. Shue."
"So they guilted you into it."
"No." Kurt turned back to face the stage fully again. "I understood where they were coming from and what the problem was. The biggest issue I had was that it had to be Rachel."
"But they're holding auditions."
"Because I made it a condition of me giving it up." Kurt flashed a small smile at Sam. "I knew that it would automatically go to Rachel, so I made them hold auditions. I'm pretty sure Mr. Shue will still choose Rachel because she's his star, but at least the other girls get a chance, right?"
Sam stood right beside the smaller boy. "Who do you think should get it?"
"Tina. Her voice meshed well with Blaine's."
Sam patted Kurt on the shoulder in a comforting manner. "I still think that it should be you singing it."
"Thank you," Kurt smiled sadly. "Me too."